Candy Cane Peppermint Biscotti recipe from authors’ Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko Farmstead Chef (farmsteadchef.com)
Biscotti are conversation starters, meant to be savored crunch by crunch, and not inhaled like softer cookies often are. Despite having no Italian blood running through either of our families, we love both the crunch and conversation that the Italian biscotti brings when shared with friends. (We love the dunking part, too.) Biscotti, especially our Peppermint Biscotti that deviate from the traditional anise or almond-flavored kind, is a colorful and sweet centerpiece to every wintertime gathering, perfect for dunking in a cup of joe.
Meaning “twice-baked” in Italian, biscotti naturally double the effort in the kitchen, which is one of the reasons for the price they fetch at fancy coffeehouses. First, the biscotti are baked in a loaf. Then, after they’re sliced upon cooling, they’re sent back into the oven to be toasted. The resultant crisp, dry texture provides a satisfying crunch or, if you’re inclined, some dunking fun whether in coffee, tea, or a glass of dessert wine. Because biscotti are dried, they have a long shelf life if kept away from humidity in an airtight container. Wonderfully, without preservatives or additives, our biscotti can last for several months.
The inspiration for our recipe came one winter even after noticing bags in our farmstead pantry filled with various leftover candy canes and peppermint candies (you know, the ones you or a family member pick up at a restaurant — but never eat). We hate to throw things out—yet we realized we’d never eat the candies. Our “re-purposing” recipe in Farmstead Chef transforms these candy canes and mints into something we savor every season as biscotti. We now have a holiday cookie tradition where we turn leftover candy canes into conversation starters and as “thank you” gifts for friends and family.
The excerpt is taken from Farmstead Chef, Lisa Kivirist and John Ivanko, New Society Publishers 2011.
¾ c. butter, softened (1 ½ sticks)
¾ c. sugar
2 t. peppermint extract
3 ¼ c. flour
1 t. baking powder
¼ t. salt
1 ½ c. crushed peppermint candy, divided (about 24 regular-sized candy canes)
White chocolate bark for frosting
• In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.
• Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in extract.
• Separately, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in 1 c. peppermint candy.
• Gradually add flour/candy mixture to creamed mixture, beating until blended (dough will be stiff).
• Divide dough in half. On a baking sheet, roll each portion into a 12-inch by 2 ½-inch rectangle.
• Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully remove to wire rack. Cool 15 minutes. On cutting board, cut at an angle into ½ inch slices.
• Place cut side down on baking sheets. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until firm.
• For frosting, melt chocolate. Drizzle chocolate over cookie in a swirled design.
Yield: 3 dozen biscotti.